NYJD Staff Writer: Matt Deem
Georgia Tech is shaking their heads after Saturday’s loss to Utah in the Sun Bowl after they blew a 14 point fourth quarter lead.
Both teams relied heavily on the run with GT rushing for over 300 yards while Utah’s John White had 115 yards on 26 carries including the game winning TD run in overtime.
Here are how the 2012 NFL Draft prospects performed in the game.
Star Lotulelei DT Junior Utah
Lotuleli is a beast of a man; he is constantly in the backfield when offenses dare to put one guy on him. His strength is really impressive at 6’3 325lbs he holds his weight well and always gets low enough to get under the O-lineman’s pads. He made a big play in the first half when he recovered a fumble, and put tons of pressure on Washington all game. The Utah D-line is really massive, and offenses can’t double team one guy or the other will break through. Lotuleli had the chance to come out early this year with the chance to sneak into the first round but decided to come back and secure himself a 1st round selection next year. Look for Star to have a huge senior year in 2012.
Preston Lyons FB Senior Georgia Tech
Lyons was forced into the starting running back role with injuries to David Simms and Orwin Smith. Lyons made some really big plays Saturday, including a nice 58 yard run right up the middle where he showed good speed for a fullback pulling away from the middle linebacker before being pushed out of bounds. He later added another big run where he ran went right up the middle for a 36 yard TD and was untouched. I loved the way Lyons runs, very hard and makes linebackers fall backwards on contact. He didn’t see much action this year but he showed a lot of promise as a potential fullback in the NFL, but with fewer teams using a fullback these days those positions are very competitive as of late.
Tevin Washington QB Junior Georgia Tech
Tevin played a very good game, was very efficient only missing only 4 of 15 passes and surprised the Utah D on a few long balls on 58 and 31 that were mixed in between the 56 total rushes in the game. Tevin ran the triple option to perfection most of the game, including 20 rushes with a nearly 5 yards per carry average. He went against really big d-line man and eventually tired them out in the second half. The yellow jackets got off to a 6-0 start this year before slipping late, I look for Tevin and Georgia Tech to have another good year next year and be a tough out in the ACC.
John White RB Junior Utah
White is a junior college transfer who burst into the starting role this year after injury. He is a small back at only 5’8 185lbs but still is willing to run between the tackles but is a threat to break it deep on every carry. He is the center of Utah’s offense with 26 carries Saturday for 115 yards, he has become an every down back now and a touchdown machine with 17 on the year. I’m looking for a lot more production next year and he has the quickness and durability to be a legit 3rd down back in the NFL.
Jon Hays QB Junior Utah
Hays stepped in week 3 after starting quarterback Jordan Wynn suffered a season ending injury. He has had an up and down season, but Saturday he really stepped up. He started the game off with a nice play action pass on the 1 yard line and dished off to full back Shawn Asiata. But then was held quiet until he stepped up big in the 4th quarter with 2 late touchdown passes to tie the game up, the last TD was to DeVonte Christopher for 28 yards on a 4th and 14 with only 1:32 left. Hays will most likely go back to the back up role next year but the team knows they have a secure guy to rely on if Wynn goes down again.